Agenda and minutes

Venue: Norfolk Room, The Conference Suite, Elizabeth House, Dereham

Contact: Democratic Services  Tel: 01362 656870

Items
No. Item

17.

Minutes (Agenda item 1) pdf icon PDF 71 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the meetings held on 22 March 2017.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 22 March 2017 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

18.

Apologies (Agenda item 2)

To receive apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Askew, Millbank and L. Monument.

19.

Urgent Business (Agenda item 3)

To note whether the Chairman proposes to accept any item as urgent business, pursuant to Section 100(B)(4)(b) of the Local Government Act, 1972.

Minutes:

None.

20.

Declaration of Interests (Agenda item 4)

The duties to register, disclose and not to participate for the entire consideration of the matter, in respect of any matter in which a Member has a disclosable pecuniary interest are set out in Chapter 7 of the Localism Act 2011.  Members are also required to withdraw from the meeting room as stated in the Standing Orders of this Council.

 

Minutes:

None.

21.

Non-Members Wishing to Address the Meeting (Agenda item 5)

To note the names of any non-members who wish to address the meeting.

Minutes:

None.

22.

Taxi Licensing and the Equality Act 2010 (Agenda item 6) pdf icon PDF 88 KB

Report of Donna Hall, Licensing & Business Support Manager.

 

Minutes:

Members were reminded that the decision to implement the provisions of Section 165, 166 and 167 of the Equality Act 2010 had been deferred from the previous meeting in March 2017 for further consideration.

 

The provisions contained in the Act were highlighted.  It was noted that these provisions allowed a Licensing authority to create a list of “designated vehicles” – vehicles that were capable of carrying passengers in wheelchairs (section 167) and then required drivers of those vehicles to provide mobility assistance (Section 165).  Members were informed that there had been quite a number of FOI requests nationally on this matter and a great deal of Local Authorities had already adopted such a list.  The Department for Transport often contacted the Licensing Team offering guidance and was keen for Breckland to produce and adopt a list of designated vehicles.

 

If Members’ were mindful to approve the recommendation, such a list could be created following consultation with the owners of the vehicles.  The drivers of those vehicles would also be made aware of their responsibilities and apply for medical exemption if necessary.

 

The list would then be published on the Council’s website.

 

In response to a question as to whether it was voluntary to be added to the list, Members were informed that if the vehicle was suitable to carry wheelchairs it would automatically be added to the list and would be an offence for a licensed driver on the designated list, unless exempt, to fail to comply with these duties.  The exemptions were highlighted.

 

Councillor Monument asked if drivers could charge extra for this service.  The Licensing & Business Support Manager explained that drivers could not and any complaints about charges for this service would be investigated.

 

The Chairman asked if the Licensing Team had received any complaints from wheelchairs users since the last meeting in March.  Members were informed that no complaints had been received as most drivers already provided such assistance.

 

Councillor Brindle asked if the Licensing Team had a list of vehicles available that could carry wheelchairs as he had received a complaint from a constituent who had trouble finding one.   The Licensing & Business Support Manager advised that there were not many in the Breckland area; in fact, there were only ten that she would consider to be wheelchair friendly and only six of those were hackney carriages.  She pointed out that many authorities had their own Policies stating that a certain type of licensed vehicle had to have access for wheelchairs.  This could be something that Breckland could consider.

 

Councillor Darby felt that if a company had more than a certain number of vehicles a provision should be made that one of them had to be wheelchair accessible.  The Chairman felt that this would be difficult to enforce.

 

The Licensing & Business Support Manager suggested that this could be considered as part of the Policy and could be updated accordingly.

 

RESOLVED that the decision to implement the provisions under Section 165, 166 and 167 of the Equality Act  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22.

23.

Licensing Activities and news Update (Agenda item 7)

Verbal report by Donna Hall, Licensing & Business Support Manager.

 

Minutes:

All taxi policy and procedures were being reviewed; Members would be contacted by email accordingly.

 

The dates of all Town Council meetings would be provided to allow the Licensing Team a wider consultation.